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Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them 233

bckspc writes "The Committee to Protect Journalists has published their annual census of journalists in prison. Of the 136 reporters in prison around the world on December 1, 'At least 68 bloggers, Web-based reporters, and online editors are imprisoned, constituting half of all journalists now in jail.' Print was next with 51 cases. Also, 'Freelancers now make up nearly 45 percent of all journalists jailed worldwide, a dramatic recent increase that reflects the evolution of the global news business.' China, Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, and Burma were the top 5 jailers of journalists." rmdstudio writes, too, with word that after the last few days' protest there, largely organized online, the government of Iran is considering the death penalty for bloggers and webmasters whose reports offend it.
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Sharp Rise In Jailing of Online Journalists; Iran May Just Kill Them

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  • Pile it on (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:26AM (#30364802)

    Are we being prepared for an American invasion of Iran? Last time I saw this much propoganda was just prior to the invasion of Iraq.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:52AM (#30365180)

    Iraq (in U.S. custody): 1
    Ibrahim Jassam, freelance

    Imprisoned: September 2, 2008

    Jassam, a freelance photographer working for Reuters, was detained by U.S. and Iraqi forces during a raid on his home in Mahmoodiya, south of Baghdad, Reuters reported. At the time of the arrest, a U.S. military spokesman told CPJ that the journalist was deemed “a threat to the security of Iraq and coalition forces.”

    In November 2008, the Iraqi Central Criminal Court ruled that there was no evidence to hold Jassam and ordered the U.S. military to release him, Reuters reported. U.S. military authorities rejected the court order, saying that he “continued to pose a serious threat to the security and stability of Iraq.”

    The military has disclosed no evidence against Jassam, and he has never been charged with a crime.

    U.S. troops have detained dozens of journalists—mostly Iraqis—since the war in Iraq began in March 2003, CPJ research found. In at least 12 cases, journalists were held for prolonged periods without charge or due process. In all other cases, the journalists were freed without charges ever being substantiated.

  • by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:06AM (#30365372) Homepage Journal []

    i doubted the suggestion, modded insightful, that media control in iran is just like in the usa. a further insightful reply to my trollmodded comment started discussing the idea of "manufacturing consent." which i actually don't have a problem with as a description of a real negative issue with the media in the usa. however: as if such a concept is remotely like anything what they do with the media in iran

    why do people not understand that no matter how much you dislike the usa or big media in the west, or how many real and genuine problems you can find with the media and civil rights enforcement in the west, that what iran is doing is far, far more vile, according to the widest range of subjective and objective measurements, and not even remotely comparable?

    what iran does to its citizens and how it handles rights internally can't possibly compare to the status quo in the west if you claim the slightest amount of intellectual honesty. iran is off the charts. there is no equivalency, period

    no matter how much you hate the usa or how large your grievance is with the FOREIGN policies of western governments, when you try to equate what happens in the west DOMESTICALLY with what iran does with its citizens, you only cheapen and disqualify the moral and logical basis for your opposition to the west. you make a fool of yourself, because you do not appear to be someone who is truly speaking from moral principles, you only appear to be geopolitically posturing. you're not concerned with making the world a better place. you're concerned with vendettas. you do not demonstrate a mental ability to appreciate concepts like scale, perspective, and context when formulate an equivalence between domestic rights and media manipulation in the west and iran. do you really understand what iran freely engages in in the suppression of its citizens? do you honestly want to compare that to anything the west does to its citizens?

    you need to demonstrate an actual well-defined set of moral principles. if you do that, you will find a need on your own part to criticize iran for what it does to its citizens. or at the very least, if criticism of the west is your only concern, you need to stop trying to steer a discussion of the horrid crimes iran commits internally into a discussion of the far smaller set of domestic crimes committed in the west. the west is NOT innocent. however, the crimes the west commits domestically isn't even remotely as vile as what iran commits domestically. really

    in regard to the subject matter of abuse of citizens and media manipulation, if in your mind you cannot help but to confuse iran and the usa's domestic policies, you only demonstrate an irrational bias on your part, not any real moral principles or logical backbone

    please, by all means, be my guest, continue to criticize the west. as someone who truly and genuinely holds free expression of opinion as a bedrock principle, i support your right to speak your mind, even if i disagree with it. but one wonders how you handle the cognitive dissonance of pointing out anthills while the mountain looms in the discussion

  • Re:Pile it on (Score:2, Interesting)

    by VShael ( 62735 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:07AM (#30365384) Journal

    "I don't even think that McCain would have gone into Iran."

    Did you not see him singing "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" on Sunday morning TV?
    He seemed positively eager at the thought.

  • Re:Here's an idea (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:19AM (#30365552)

    How about detaining all Iranian diplomats until all jounalists are freed.

    The politician's syllogism! [] "Something must be done! This is something! Therefore, this must be done!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:31AM (#30365726)

    ... what iran is doing is far, far more vile, according to the widest range of subjective and objective measurements ...

    Are there any objective measurements? All I see is rhetorical blogs implicitly claiming fake things, a regular dosage of "Iran is evil" stories. Where exactly are objective reports?

  • by spiralpath ( 1114695 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @11:45AM (#30365934)
    The point he was making is that our current outreach to the government weakens that line of propaganda. The Iranian people are becoming aware of this and see their own government's constant anti-Western rhetoric as more and more ridiculous. If they keep doing it they will continue to alienate their population.
  • Re:Pile it on (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @10:24PM (#30373456)

    I don't think you have to worry about an American->Iranian war anytime soon. I'd worry more about what the Israeli's will do if they feel that the world is allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear bomb.

    The Israeli's wont do anything.

    I mean this in the least insulting way possible but you don't know anything about the Persian and Israeli people. Allow me to explain.

    The Iranians are mostly Persian (do a google image search on Persian, there are some interesting results). The leaders of Iran are Arab, mostly from southern Iraq, there is also a large paramilitary police force called the Basij, the religious police which is mainly comprised of Arabs from Lebanon and Palestine. Now there is only about 6000 years of recorded racial tensions between Arabs and Persians. Hopefully you'll understand the background a bit better now.

    Now contrary to popular American belief the Persians and Israeli people get on like a house on fire. This is why most of the exiled Iranians fled to Israel in 1980, the headquarters of the Baha'i religion is in Israel after it was moved from Iran.

    Now if there is to be a Israeli-Iran war then the winner will be the side that is not the belligerent, you see if Iran attacks Israel then the Israeli's get to go about liberating the Persians (Every Israeli Jew I've met has said the Persians are the most oppressed people in the middle east) backed up by thousands of ethnic Persians (long exiled friends and family) which will incite other Persians riot against their aggressive government (fearing another generation lost al a Iran-Iraq). However is Israel attacks Iran then the Iranian government gets the PR victory in its rhetoric against Israel which will focus the Persian people under that banner and after the failures in Lebanon and Palestine the Israeli people will not support a war of aggression. Both sides know if they attack first they will lose so each side is goading the other but neither is willing to act.

    What Fox News isn't reporting is that for the last six months there have been ongoing protests in Iran, the Iranian government hasn't just decided to round up and execute a few journo's for shits and giggles, they are getting anxious. Due to the Iran-Iraq war this is the first time the Islamic Republic of Iran has had to deal with a significant young adult population as there is almost no 25-40 yr olds. The Iranian people have mostly forgotten the abuses of the Shah which gave the Islamic extremists power in the first place however they do remember their Zoroastrian and Baha'i friends who were forced to leave 30 years ago and they remember the abuses of the current government.

Air is water with holes in it.